Ping Ping wondered to herself: how, is she to play the role of a queen well? Or, a vicious stepmother. She’d used her mother’s eyebrow pencils, and darkened her lips, and put her mother’s purple shawl, and draped it from her own head, and because of how petite her size, her mother’s shawl draped from her head down to her toes. The shawl had round bat prints all over it, looked somewhat gloomy; Ping Ping knew, that bats are a symbol of luck, because of how synonymous the word “bat” is with “happiness”.
Yun, who played the role of Snow White, saw Ping-Ping, in a dark purplish black dress, and how her lips were black, she was so frightened that she’d cried. Ping-Ping took out an apple, from under her shawl to hand it to Yun.
Ying-Ying ran out from behind the couch, and pulled out a tissue from the tissue box on the tea stand, to help Yun dry her tears. Ping-Ping called out to her aloud, “Ying-Ying, return to BACK of the couch, it’s not time for the prince to show yet. Yun, stop crying, just take the apple, and take a bite.” The next scene was the prince, kissing the princess, and waking her up, Ping-Ping directed her friends, “Quick! My mother will be home in twenty minutes. Yun, quit blinking already, close your eyes tight. Now, enters the Prince, go kiss the princess.”
Yun lay on the ground, in a white lacy dress, looking like a doll, and Ying-Ying who acted as the Prince was the tallest of them all, dark skinned, with an oval face, single eyelids, with long black trousers, white shirt, she’d strutted over, looking like a man. Ping-Ping knew how to assign the characters, as for when nobody wants to play the role of the Evil Queen, she’d taken that up. Ying-Ying bent down, as her face got close to Yung, Yun spoke in a barely audible voice, “Can you not kiss me on the lips?” Ying-Ying’s face stopped in midair, atop of Yun, she’d stopped moving. Yun continued, “Hand me your MP3 player.” Ying-Ying’s lips pecked Yun’s nose. And, because of the angle, Ping-Ping couldn’t see where the kiss had happened.
Thirty years later, they’re all close to age forty. Ping-Ping became a dean at a college, sitting next to her is Yun, who was JUST like herself back in childhood, still very quiet. Ping-Ping asked what’s been happening in her life, Yun said that a decade ago, her father’s business venture failed, that she’s now, teaching in an elementary school, and her husband in a middle school. Ping-Ping thought that she must not be feeling well, that, was why she looked so frail and tired. At this time, a tall, fashionable woman walked in to the café, fashionable, because of her looks, she wore a pair of golden hoop earrings, her three inch golden heels, and her white dress, showing almost all of her thighs, she swayed as she walked to their table. Oh my god! It’s Ying-Ying! All the classmates sitting there hollered out loud! Wow! Ying-Ying told them that she’d just gotten back last week from California, her husband is in real estate, an American. Ping-Ping thought, that the Americans have a different standard of what beauty is, and so naturally, in their views, Ying-Ying MUST be a beauty. And, because she was perceived as such, she must dress up. Seeing how Ying-Ying had a light purple eye shadow, with a bright red lipsticks on.
A year later, Yun called Ping-Ping up, asked her to meet out at a café. Ping-Ping saw how Yun was even thinner than the year before, became even more anxious, NOT knowing what happened.
Yun told her, “I’d lost my three million dollars worth of saving, all because of Ying-Ying!”
Ping-Ping exclaimed, “What? Did Ying-Ying ask to borrow money from you, and not returned the loans?” Yun became unlike herself, started talking nonstop, perhaps, it’s how she didn’t have a person she could talk to that she’d kept everything in all this time, “No, not a loan. Do you remember our last reunion? Three days later, Ying-Ying asked me and three other female classmates to the café at a grand hotel. She’d talked of how her ex had an investment opportunity, buying up land in California, that it was a company owned by her husband and his friend. She’d shown her on the I-Pad to, entered into the website of the company, and showed us the pictures of that huge chunk of land, and, they saw how off in the distance, was a high-end community, she said, that a year after they’d bought it, they should sell it, and that will allow them a profit of forty percent. She’d even shown us her land buying license from California too. After three meetings, the four of us each bought a chunk of land from her, and we’d even received the deeds to the land. But, a week ago, she’d called, that that real estate company had filed for bankruptcy. Then, it’d come to my senses, that the three million dollars I’d invested are all gone now. After that call, I couldn’t get back in touch with her again. That, was the money I’d saved up, from my twenty years of teaching!”
Ping-Ping thought to herself about how bad human nature is, that Yun had taken advantage of those who trusted her the most; and how blind we all are, to trust the images we’d had of one another from before.
Because people DO change, and so, you CANNOT expect those good friends you’d had from your high school days to be exactly the same as you all were, and, people WILL take advantage of you because you let them.